Here are a few news items from the airline industry that caught my attention today:
- Delta Air Lines and Virgin Atlantic received clearance for their joint venture from EU and U.S. regulators, bringing with it reciprocal frequent flier benefits for SkyMiles and Flying Club members. Starting on July 3, members of both programs will have mileage accrual and redemption abilities on either airline, lounge access and more. Check out The Wandering Aramean, One Mile at a Time or View from the Wing for in-depth details.
- American Airlines issued a couple of “pressers” today. The first announced it became the first major carrier whose pilots have fully discontinued using paper flight manuals in lieu of iPads (United’s pilots also use iPads, but I guess it isn’t 100% coverage yet). And American announced a new codeshare agreement with Seaborne Airlines out of San Juan, opening up six “new” destinations in the Caribbean.
- Lufthansa’s CEO calls the advent of fully lie-flat business class seats “an unfortunate development” for airlines. Yeah, I get it… the real estate necessary in the middle cabin for the seats compared to previous generations is quite a hit, especially when those seats don’t command a first class fare. But hey… we travelers like (and demand) them!
- Air New Zealand announced its Boeing 787 launch routes and seating configuration, with Honolulu being the first U.S. destination. The aircraft will sport Business Premier, Premium Economy (with new seats, not the Spaceseat found on other jets) and Economy cabins. More details on the cabin layout can be found here.
- And finally, US Airways experienced a couple of incidents on Sunday. One involved a flight attendant being detained in Rome for allegedly attempting to board her flight with a disassembled revolver and ammunition in her bag. And the other involved an unruly passenger being booted off her flight for refusing to stop talking on her phone while the aircraft was taxiing.
– Follow Darren Booth on Twitter, @FrequentlyFlyin, for more airline, hotel and travel industry news, reviews and opinions.